The Proper Response to End-Time Hysteria

The process of breaking free from the bondage behind false apparition sites comes by replacing the devil’s lies with the Lord’s truth. In Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus gives his followers specific instructions concerning the end-time events. You can make your own list of requirements by reading these Scripture passages and then writing down the Lord’s directives.

The end-time discourse begins in Matthew 24 in which the disciples had been pointing out all the magnificent structures surrounding the temple area. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”1

The temple was destroyed about forty years later (AD 70) and has not been rebuilt. To the disciples this must have sounded like the end of the world, so they asked Jesus a three-part question: When will the temple be destroyed, what will be the sign of your coming, and what will be the sign of the end of the age?

Jesus answered all three parts of their question in Matthew 24 and 25. He began with the first requirement for his followers in Matthew 24:4 by saying, “Beware that no one leads you astray.” The devil is a liar and wants to deceive as many people as possible. Jesus wants his followers to be on guard so that no one leads them astray.

Knowing that there would be an ever-increasing number of false prophets promoting end-time hysteria, Jesus gave his followers the second requirement, “see that you are not alarmed.”2 Jesus wants his followers to put their faith and confidence in him, not to be driven around by fear, worry, and anxiety.

"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs. Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved."3

The third requirement is to practice endurance. Jesus asks his followers to stand firm in their faith and continue to walk in obedience regardless of any end-time persecution or hardships that may arise. The Lord’s disciples are required to remain faithful to the calling the Lord has placed on their lives, regardless of the worldly events that occur around them.

"So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; the one on the housetop must not go down to take what is in the house; the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat."4

When the world comes to an end and Jesus returns in glory, his followers are not to try and save their most valuable possessions. Instead of making plans to rent a truck, move to a deserted island, and save the big-screen television, laptop computer, and business records from destruction, in Luke 21:34-35 Jesus advises the faithful as follows:

"Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth." The fourth requirement is to keep your eyes focused on the Lord, and don’t be concerned with your worldly possessions.

The next requirement can be found in Matthew 24:20-21 in which Jesus described the destruction of the temple. He said, “Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” The fifth requirement is to pray. The Lord’s disciples are required to pray about all things, especially for their own safety when encountering dangerous situations.

"And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look! Here is the Messiah!' or 'There he is!'—do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect."5

The sixth requirement is to avoid false forms of salvation. With an ever-increasing amount of apparition sites, there is also an ever-increasing number of false messages, all promoting their own forms of salvation. Some of these sites are asking Catholics to put their faith and confidence in “Mary’s Ark of Salvation.” Others are advising Catholics to avoid the end-time events by hiding in caves, building bomb shelters, and converting their homes into “special places of refuge.”

According to John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” There is only one Savior, and all salvation comes through Jesus. In order to secure your eternal salvation, you will need to denounce the devil’s lies and surrender your life to the Lord’s service.

"Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives."6

The seventh requirement is to be ready and active like wise and faithful servants. Once you have surrendered your life to the Lord’s service, you will need to live the rest of your life in obedience to the Lord’s calling. A wise and faithful servant needs to keep his eyes firmly fixed on the Lord. He needs to be in constant communication with the Lord, and continue to serve his Master during the good times, as well as the bad.

Jesus described the eighth requirement for his wise and faithful servants in Matthew 25 by comparing them to ten bridesmaids. Five were wise, and five were foolish. The wise bridesmaids kept their lamps burning brightly. They made the necessary preparations, making sure they had enough oil for the bridegroom’s return.

In the same way, all the Lord’s faithful servants are required to keep the light of Christ burning brightly. According to Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

The ninth requirement comes from Matthew 25:14-30. As wise and faithful servants, we are required to use our talents and abilities to actively advance God’s kingdom here on earth. In this passage, the servant who was entrusted with ten talents used his resources wisely and was greatly rewarded upon his master’s return.

Another servant buried his master’s money out of fear and was severely punished upon his master’s return. The master’s response to the fear-driven servant was, “As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”7

The tenth requirement can be found in Matthew 25:31-46. As the Lord’s faithful servants, we need to be about the Lord’s business, feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, healing the sick, driving out demons, and preaching the Good News.

Jesus wants his followers to remain faithful to their callings until the end. The devil wants everybody to be alarmed so that he can spread more false messages, deceiving as many people as possible.

The Lord wants his followers to put their faith and confidence in him. The devil wants to create fear-driven panic and hysteria, so that the faithful will abandon their callings, hide in caves, stockpile goods, and buy guns to protect themselves.

As a member of Christ’s body, you have a choice. Will you continue seeking false messages in a never-ending obsession, or will you lay down your life to serve the Lord in accordance with Sacred Scripture?

  1. Don’t be deceived.
  2. Don’t be alarmed.
  3. Stand firm until the end.
  4. Don’t worry about your possessions.
  5. Pray for your own safety.
  6. Don’t run after false saviors.
  7. Be ready and active like a wise and faithful servant.
  8. Keep the light of Christ burning brightly in a world of darkness.
  9. Use your talents and abilities to advance God’s kingdom here on earth.
  10. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and preach the Good News.

 

 

Notes

The Lord’s end-time discourse started in Matthew 24:1 and ended in Matthew 26:1 where the conversation concluded by stating: "When Jesus had finished saying all these things..."

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition copyright ©1993 and 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  1. Matthew 24:2.
  2. Matthew 24:6.
  3. Matthew 24:7–13.
  4. Matthew 24:15–18.
  5. Matthew 24:22–24.
  6. Matthew 24:4–-46.
  7. Matthew 25:30.